The Brownlee brothers Olympic Triathlon era is OVER for Britain as Sam Dickinson gets final spot for Paris 2024

It's Sam Dickinson rather than Jonny Brownlee who has been given the second and final Team GB spot for the Paris Olympics.

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Team GB have announced that Sam Dickinson and not Jonny Brownlee will take the second and final men’s spot at next month’s Olympic Games triathlon in Paris.

The decision on who would join Alex Yee has been in the balance for most of the qualifying window.

And the discretionary call has gone to 26-year-old Dickinson, while there was a similarly tricky decision around the GB women where Georgia Taylor-Brown and Kate Waugh were given the nod and Sophie Coldwell missed out.


Dual role for Dickinson

Dickinson’s own results over the last two years – like 34-year-old Brownlee – have been mixed, with a highpoint in 2023 of bronze at the World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong. He was number 70 in the final Olympic qualification rankings, with Brownlee at 55.

But Dickinson showed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham that he could play a key role. First, he helped Yee to individual gold with a selfless bike ride, with the latter saying at the time: “Sam sacrificed his race for me on the bike and I’m just so pleased that I could honour that by getting the win.”

Alex Yee Sam Dickinson
Alex Yee and Sam Dickinson at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Pic – World Triathlon).

And then the pair were part of the triumphant Mixed Relay quartet.

It will be an Olympics debut for Dickinson.


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End of an era

Brownlee is the most decorated triathlete in Olympic history. In his first Games he won bronze behind older brother Alistair at London in 2012 and then silver when they went one-two in Rio four years later.

And he completed the set by striking gold in the Mixed Team Relay in Tokyo.

He clocked the fastest leg that day which prompted him to bid for a fourth Olympics in Paris.

Things started well with a second place in Cagliari in 2022 but that remains his most recent podium at WTCS level in a career which has so far seen him in the top three in more than half of his 99 World Triathlon starts, which includes 21 wins.

He’s had to battle injuries and 34th, 17th, 51st and 35th in his four biggest races in 2023 led him to describe it as a “pretty awful season“.

Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownle, Rio 2016 Olympic Games podium celebration
The Brownlee brothers have an incredible Olympic legacy

Was Poland showdown decisive?

His one WTCS race this year saw him finish 38th in Yokohama after losing touch on the run and both he and Dickinson had a final chance to impress the selectors in the Europe Triathlon Cup Kielce at the start of June.

That came down to a run battle and it was won late on in thrilling fashion by Dickinson, with Brownlee three seconds back in third.

Did that prove decisive? You can read much more about how the selection process and policy works, especially in context of the Dickinson v Brownlee battle, here.

And with Great Britain having only qualified two spots for the men, it now means that Dickinson is certain to be in the Mixed Relay team in Paris, with the quartet again among the favourites.

But Paris will be the first Olympics in 20 years without Brownlee involvement, with Alistair now having stepped up in distance after missing out on Olympics selection in Tokyo.

British Triathlon Performance Director and Team GB Triathlon Lead, Mike Cavendish, said: “This was an incredibly hard selection process and one that I’m aware brings delight for some athletes but also disappointment for others. The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of our sport and I know just how much it will mean to the five who will compete in Paris this summer.”

And Team GB weren’t alone in having a tricky decision to make in terms of their men’s team, with hosts France having to choose two from three recent World Champions, all of whom were in the top 20 of the Olympic rankings. Vincent Luis was the unlucky one to miss out.

Team GB triathlon paris olympics 2024 yee taylor brown potter dickinson
[Photo credit: Team GB]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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